What You Need To Know About First Aid Kits

Whenever I’m on an event, I look into the first aid kit that’s hopefully already on site… and then I send the runner to get the stuff that’s missing.

Because there’s always something missing…

And I’ll let you in on a little known secret. Almost always, I’ll find dressing materials that are out of date. I mean way out of date, like years. This stuff isn’t sterile anymore and if you use it, you might cause more harm by infection than doing good.

Because we in the event industry work in a high hazard environment (due to the construction-like nature of event builds) we need to have specific sizes of first aid kit on site. 

And please keep in mind that I’m only talking about the build and derig phases of an event in this post. As soon as you have audience present, the requirements change drastically as explained here.

We also need first aid trained personnel and I’ve written about that here.

As a general requirement, first aid kits have to be easily accessible. Not buried under boxes or clutter and not under lock and key. It can be stored in the production office and ideally you’ll have a sign outside of the office that tells staff here’s a first aid kit. The sign should look like this:

You can download this sign to print it out here.

Staff should also be made aware of the location in the site safety induction.

Each first aid kit comes with a list of materials that are supposed to be inside. These contents are defined in 2 European industry norms according to size.

Small first aid kit for up to 10 employees

A small first aid kit shouldn’t cost more than 45$. The contents are defined in a European industry norm called DIN 13157 as follows:

  • 1 adhesive plaster roll, 5 m x 2.5cm (DIN 13019-A)
  • 8 adhesive dressings, 10 x 6cm (DIN 13019)
  • 4 finger cap dressings, 4 x 7cm
  • 4 quick-fix adhesive dressings, 12 x 2cm (DIN 13019-E)
  • 4 plaster strips waterproof, 1.9 x 7.2 cm
  • 8 plaster strips waterproof, 2.5 x 7.2 cm
  • 1 pack of dressings DIN 13151-K, individual sterile
  • 3 packs of dressings DIN 13151-M, individual sterile
  • 1 pack of dressings DIN 13151-G, individual sterile
  • 1 dressing sheet, 60 x 80 cm, individual sterile (DIN 13152-A)
  • 3 packs of wound pads, 10 x 10cm, set of two, sterile
  • 2 eye compresses, 5.6 x 7.2cm, individually sealed
  • 1 instant ice pack
  • 1 rescue blanket silver/gold, 160 x 210cm
  • 2 fixing bands 6 cm, cellophane wrapped (DIN 61634-FB 6)
  • 2 fixing bands 8cm, cellophane wrapped (DIN 61634-FB 8)
  • 2 triangular bandages, non-woven fabric (DIN 13168-D)
  • 1 pair of scissors (DIN 58279-B 190)
  • 2 foil bags, 30 x 40cm
  • 5 non-woven cloths, 20 x30cm
  • 4 vinyl gloves (DIN EN 455)
  • 1 instruction leaflet on first aid for accidents

Large first aid kit for staff from 11 up to 50 employees

A large first aid kit shouldn’t cost more than 156 $. The contents are defined in a European industry norm called DIN 13169 as follows:

  • 2 adhesive plaster roll, 5 m x 2.5cm (DIN 13019-A)
  • 16 adhesive dressings, 10 x 6cm (DIN 13019)
  • 8 finger cap dressings, 4 x 7cm
  • 8 quick-fix adhesive dressings, 12 x 2cm (DIN 13019-E)
  • 8 plaster strips waterproof, 1.9 x 7.2 cm
  • 16 plaster strips waterproof, 2.5 x 7.2 cm
  • 2 pack of dressings DIN 13151-K, individual sterile
  • 6 packs of dressings DIN 13151-M, individual sterile
  • 2 pack of dressings DIN 13151-G, individual sterile
  • 2 dressing sheet, 60 x 80 cm, individual sterile (DIN 13152-A)
  • 6 packs of wound pads, 10 x 10cm, set of two, sterile
  • 4 eye compresses, 5.6 x 7.2cm, individually sealed
  • 2 instant ice pack
  • 2 rescue blanket silver/gold, 160 x 210cm
  • 4 fixing bands 6 cm, cellophane wrapped (DIN 61634-FB 6)
  • 4 fixing bands 8cm, cellophane wrapped (DIN 61634-FB 8)
  • 4 triangular bandages, non-woven fabric (DIN 13168-D)
  • 1 pair of scissors (DIN 58279-B 190)
  • 4 foil bags, 30 x 40cm
  • 10 non-woven cloths, 20 x30cm
  • 8 vinyl gloves (DIN EN 455)
  • 1 instruction leaflet on first aid for accidents

So now you know what’s supposed to be inside a first aid kit and you can buy the right kind depending on your needs. Remember to look at the expiration dates at least every 6 months or before a major event and to keep your first aid kit accessible.